24-Hour Shakespeare Begins TONIGHT!

February 23, 2024 Landry French

Hardin-Simmons University’s theatre department once again holds its unique and entertaining 24-Hour Shakespeare, beginning on Friday, February 23, 2024.

24-Hour Shakespeare, as the name implies, is a production in which every cast member (except the directors) learns the name of a Shakespeare play they are responsible for putting on a mere 24 hours before the curtains rise. Past productions have included Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

What show will the theatre produce this year? The surprise will be revealed at 6:00 p.m. tonight. 

Dual directors and close friends MacKenzie Corum and Gracie Ridings, the artistic and technical directors, gave illuminating details about the process. The two directors are the only people who can prepare. Since both have acted in two 24-Hour Shakespeare productions in the past, they have a strong idea of how to lead their team in the right direction. Gracie shared, “It’s harder to prepare for than a musical since it’s hard to have an entire Shakespeare production memorized beforehand.” 

This will be both directors’ first experience directing a production, but neither is worried about the process. “It’s very different from other shows we do,” Gracie explained. “It’s much more informal and much more fun to produce.” A total of 16 people will participate in the play. 

On what the production will be, MacKenzie hinted the play “will be either a history or a tragedy.” For those unfamiliar with Shakespeare, that is about half the plays in Shakespeare’s catalog to choose from.

The show will open to audiences on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Van Ellis Theatre—24 hours after the initial announcement, plus an additional hour to allow for makeup. 

Admission is free. However, the theatre department will accept donations toward their upcoming trip to Scotland to participate in the Fringe Festival.

Watch for the announcement on the theatre department’s Instagram page here, and see the show yourself!